Bleacher improvements on tap for James A. Hardy gym

Published 9:00 am Wednesday, November 3, 2021

LANETT — The Lanett City Council took action Monday to make improvements at the James A. Hardy gym. A resolution was unanimously approved to purchase two sets of indoor roll-out bleachers. They will be acquired from the Hussey Seating Company of North Berwick, Maine at a cost of up to $95,000. The purchase will be made off the state bid list from American Rescue Plan funds previously received by the city.

One set of bleachers will be replacing existing seats that are in really bad shape. There is no seating on the opposite side. A second row of bleachers will provide for seating on both sides of the basketball court. The seating is needed due in part to the popularity of adult basketball that’s being played in the gym on Sunday afternoons. Large crowds are coming to see it, and the present seating is woefully inadequate for crowds that have been estimated at several hundred people.

More seating is also needed for Lanett High basketball games. They will be taking place in the Hardy gym this year because of the fire that took place earlier this year near the gym. The coaches’ offices, weight room and locker room areas must be replaced before basketball games can take place inside the LHS gym.

The company installing the new seating areas will be taking out the old seats before installing the new ones. This will account for an estimated $3,750 for the total cost.

Recreation Director Trent McCants told the council that an estimated 350 people were present for Sunday afternoon’s Family Day on the Field. Food was being grilled on the football field behind the gym, and there were bouncy houses for the kids. The indoor crowds were huge when adult basketball games were played inside the gym.

“It was a very successful event,” he said. “It went even better than we expected. The gym was packed for the basketball games.”

There was also a big turnout for Saturday evening’s 3rd Annual Trunk or Treat event.

“We ran out of candy,” McCants said.

Mayor Jamie Heard thanked McCants and his department for hosting two events over the weekend that drew lots of participation from the public.

“We are looking forward to more well-attended events in the future,” he said.

In other action, Heard appointed Wanda Allen to the Lanett Housing Authority Board of Directors. She succeeds the late Mary McKnight, who died on October 14th.

The mayor announced that the city will be hosting a Veteran’s Day program at city hall at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 11. The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918 marked the end of World War I,  then called the War to End All Wars. The Veteran’s Day speaker will be Maki Potts.

Potts is a 2017 graduate of Lanett High School, where he starred in football for Coach Clifford Story’s Panthers. He is currently employed by the Lanett Recreation Department while serving with the National Guard. He recently spent one year patrolling the border near McAllen, Texas.

“I want to thank our department heads and our employees for the work they do for the city each and every day,” Heard said.

The council met in an executive session for approximately one-half hour to discuss a pending legal matter. They did not go back into session to make a decision at the end of that meeting.